New England Casino News Mish-Mash

In Case You were too busy the last two weeks, here are the headlines you might have missed!

Rhode Island Casinos
Newport Asks for Relief
Due to declining revenues and a market that will only become more competitive, Newport Grand CEO and co-owner Diane Hurley asked state lawmakers to give her facility a “two-year window of relief.” The relief, would come in the form of an increased share of the net revenue from the facility’s slot machines., now 27.8 percent, would rise to 31 percent, within a two year window, providing an additional $1.5 million each year.

Table Games are in full swing at Twin River.  Enough Said.

Rhode Island is Serious About Cheaters
The General Assembly passed the anti-cheating bill late Tuesday afternoon and the governor signed it a short time later, just hours before table games were set to officially open at Twin River.
Under the bill, anyone caught cheating at casino games could be punished with up to 10 years in prison and as much as $100,000 in fines. The law applies to both casino patrons and employees.

Are New shopping Options the Answer?
Both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are raising the anti to keep and entice visitors back to their casinos with retail expansion. Combined, the projects will add 130 new stores within 10 miles. Good news – jobs and players.

Revenue Levels off – Hope in the Future?
For the first time in a long time, revenue declines leveled off in CT. Possibly two reasons for this upturn – a more intense marketing strategy, and the possible devastating influence that the hurricane and blizzard last year had on their take. With a recent slight decline in Pennsylvania’s revenue (due to increased casino openings in Maryland, New York and Ohio) this could be the first sign of a rise in CT casino relevance. Include expansions, interest by both in the Catskills and Massachusetts, and more intense summer marketing, and the worst could be behind them.

Jai Alai Revival?
That crazy two walled sport that took the CT and Florida by storm throughout the ’70s and ’80s is back in the news. If you recall, it quickly fell into relative obscurity following a player strike, an influx of scandal, and newly opened casinos that attracted gamblers’ money. It’s called “the fastest sport in the world,” and it was in CT – here today and gone tomorrow. Cromwell resident Matt DiDomizio breathed life into the game just over three years ago when he opened Connecticut Amateur Jai Alai in Berlin and now wants to bring it back at the CT casinos. “I sent 22 letters to Mohegan and 15 to Foxwoods labeled to every elder or tribal member I could find.” Dear Mr. DiDomizio, good luck with that.

Maine Officials Continue to Block Penobscot Bingo Upgrade
they have blocked a bill which would allow the Penobscot Indian Nation to upgrade its old-fashioned bingo operation, asserting that the Nation’s proposed Class II bingo machines are really Class III slot machines—a claim that’s refuted by two of the most reputable companies in the country that manufacture, test and certify gaming machines. This is the fifth year in a row that the Penobscot Indian Nation has tried to pass a bill to enhance its existing gaming operation. Representitives from both Maine Casinos asked to hold back the bill – gee, what a shock.

The UFC…
is looking to bring it’s violent sport to the Hollywood Casino, Hotel and Raceway after Bangor opens its new 8,000-seat Cross Insurance Center, which is scheduled to open on Sept. 10, 2013.

Oxford is a Hit!
According to the Maine Gambling Control Board, the Oxford Casino made over $65 million during the first year of operation, surpassing original projections and out-earning Maine’s first and only other casino, which opened in 2005.

Wynn-Win Situation?
Voters in Everett gave their blessing to Steve Wynn in his bid to bring the first casino to Massachusetts with his $1.2 billion proposal. Now that approval in principal has been granted Wynn’s legal team can now go through the procedures of applying for a casino operators from the state’s recently established Gaming Commission

Sun Bid Improved
Mohegan Sun Issues New and Improved proposal for Palmer Mohegan Sun unveiled a more elaborate plan for its $1 billion proposal in Palmer, Massachusetts, which apparently now includes a slew of entertainment options, including an indoor and outdoor water park that will be connected to its own 250-room hotel to go with an enormous retail space, and an expansive cinema complex that is likewise linked to the complex’s casino on one side and another hotel on the other.

They you go. A “Royal” update. That’s all for now.